San Antonio River Boat Ride & Trivia With Kids!!

I am a huge fan of New Year’s Resolutions and one of my mine, for 2014, is to play tourist more in my own city of San Antonio! For crying out loud, it is the #1 ranked tourist destination in all of Texas!


After eating dinner on the river almost a year ago, my five year old has been begging me to take her on a River Boat Cruise Tour, a 35 minute boat ride along the historic San Antonio River.  The great thing about San Antonio’s winter, is you can probably find a sunny 70 degree day to enjoy our river walk. So we loaded up and headed down town during the week and I was pleased with how simple and relaxing the experience was. With young children, I recommend going during the day so they can see more things around them.

Where To Park & Possibly Park For Free?!

There are several parking garages around downtown but since it was not crowded during the week, we drove south on 281/Hwy 37, exited Commerce Street, turned right (or West) and quickly found several open spots along Commerce Street across from Chama Gaucha Brazilian Steak House and The River Center Mall. They have parking meters that take debit/credit cards for two hours max, at a cost of $3.60. ($1.80/hour.) We then headed straight down the stairs to the river and the Clearwater River Boat Ticket Station at Commerce and Bowie, one of the three places to get tickets and board a barge. I loved how short of a walk it was with a five and seven-year old in tow. TIP: If you can go on a Tuesday afternoon, you can park free at most parking garages down town after 5PM! The weather is supposed to be warmer and beautiful this weekend so maybe you can get out and enjoy part of our beautiful city.

River Boat Tickets

*Our key learning was to have your driver’s license out and ready to show before you request adult tickets, as they didn’t ask if we were San Antonio/Bexar County residents and therefore charged us, adults, the “General Admission” of $8.25 instead of the “Bexar County Resident” price of $6.00! **And they will not do refunds or price adjustments.

Our individual fares are:
$8.25 – General Admission
$6.00 – Bexar County Residents
$2.00 – Children (1-5 years)
$6.00 – Senior Citizens (60 & older) & United States Military

All prices are tax inclusive. Discount prices require picture ID.


The Boat Tour and Trivia

Usually, there are fun and knowledgeable drivers telling you all about the river and facts about San Antonio. My kids were obsessed with finding things in the water (the natural part of the river is clear.) They found credit cards, forks, sun glasses and much more! Our boat even rescued a black lab that had jumped in the river after several ducks and couldn’t find a way out. In the midst of all that, here are some facts that you can print out and take with you for the ride and ask your children if they can listen to find out the answers about our great city’s history.

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San Antonio River Boat Trivia (All answers according to our river boat guide – “Phil” and basic Internet searches to confirm.)

1.  How old is the city of San Antonio?  It is the second oldest city in Texas behind El Paso, founded in 1718. (According to Wikipedia)

2. What are some famous movies that were filmed in San Antonio? Probably the most famous is Miss Congeniality with Sandra Bullock, Spy Kids, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, WINGS, filmed in San Antonio, won the first Academy Award for Best Picture. WINGS was the only silent film to win an Academy Award for Best Picture, The Great Waldo Pepper starring Robert Redford was filmed in San Antonio, Rolling Thunder co-stars sometimes San Antonian Tommy Lee JonesSyriana was filmed in San Antonio. George Clooney won Best Supporting Actor.

3. What are some of San Antonio’s nicknames? S.A., Military City USA, San Antone and Countdown City

4. How big is San Antonio compared to other US Big Cities? It is the 7th largest city in the nation.

5. Where were the first 25 families from who settled in San Antonio in the early 1700’s? The Canary Islands


6. Who are some famous people from San Antonio? Shaquille O’Neal (famous basketball player that graduated from San Antonio’s Cole High School), Tommy Lee JonesAcademy Award-winning actor, Robert Cade who invented Gatorade, Josh Davis (Churchill High School, Olympic gold medalist, Austin Mahone – Singer.

7. Can you find the huge tree that is growing out of a building along the river?


8. What are the #1, #2 and #3 tourist attractions in ALL of Texas? #1- Alamo, #2 – River Walk and #3 – Six Flags

9. What University did La Mansion used to be? St. Mary’s University and then St. Mary’s Law School until it opened as a luxury hotel in 1968.

10. How many ducks did your river boat almost hit? (This was super exciting to my five and seven-year olds!)

What are some other San Antonio tourist destinations, that are great with kids, that I could be missing out on?

Megan is a serious bargain shopper, Boxer loving, research junkie kinda gal. Chances are she can tell you the best item to buy from everything from a baby monitor to a dishwasher. She claims to be the blogger on the team that will never win an award for being an eloquent writer. In fact, she prides herself in graduating from Texas A&M University (’02) without ever having to write a paper! San Antonio born and raised, Megan learned early in life to always learn from others and she enjoys sharing helpful tips she encounters while navigating this ‘kid chapter’ of life. The three little people that gave her the title of mom and thus the inspiration to get out and explore our city, from a child’s perspective, are Carter (2006), Addie (2008) and Delaney (2013). She’ll admit, the third one has been WAY more work than they ever expected but they wouldn’t have it any other way. Her motto now is “What ever doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger,” right?! Megan has a serious to-do list addiction which one day may need intervention; for now, this aliment allows her to accomplish the many balls she has the energy to juggle. She may be an outlier to some but loves working outside the home and is grateful for her working-mom-friendly company and career in sales, which gives her the best of both worlds. Although, Megan will be the first to tell you, without her ridiculously amazing husband and hands-on-dad, Blake, she wouldn’t be able to do any of it. Like most women, half the time she feels like she has it all together and the other part, she’s treading water trying not to drown. But as of now, she wouldn’t change a thing.